Sunday, October 11, 2009

DeclaratoryJudgment Not Granted on Default -- Plaintiff Directed to Accept Insurer's Answer

Dole Food Co., Inc. v. Lincoln Gen. Ins. Co.
(4th Dept., decided 10/2/2009)

In this short decision, the Fourth Department reminds insurance coverage litigants that "[a] default judgment in a declaratory judgment action will not be granted on the default and pleadings alone for it is necessary that plaintiff[s] establish a right to a declaration[.]"  Here, the appellate court ruled that plaintiffs failed to establish their entitlement to the declaration sought, and the motion court abused its discretion in denying Lincoln General's cross motion to compel plaintiffs to accept its answer.

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